The safety upgrades on the Western Freeway in Victoria are now complete.
The final safety upgrades between Bacchus Marsh and Leigh Creek are part of around 230km of flexible safety barrier installed on the Western Freeway.
The new barriers also include additional turning points for emergency services and access breaks from every 500m to 1km that allow cars space to pull over during breakdowns and emergencies.
Travel time signage between the Ring Road and Ballarat has been installed to allow road users to make informed decisions about their travel in real time. This information is particularly important during changed driving conditions such as incidents, including crashes.
The Western Freeway is one of the most important routes in the state, connecting the western growth zone with the city, and serves as the major road link for freight between Melbourne, Western Victoria and South Australia.
This road was listed as one of the state’s most dangerous, and between 2013 and 2018 there were 28 fatalities and 207 serious injuries on this stretch of road.
The improvements will significantly improve safety along the Western Freeway and reduce the risk and severity of head-on and run-off-road crashes.
Existing safety barriers on the Western Freeway were hit 236 times in 2018 – which is 236 potentially serious crashes avoided.
Victorian Minister for Roads and Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Jaala Pulford, said, “With these major safety upgrades, we’ve made it safer to drive between Ballarat and Melbourne each and every day.
“There’s no doubt these newly installed safety barriers will save lives, and I want to thank drivers for their patience as we have rolled them out.”
Member for Buninyong, Michaela Settle, said, “This section of the Western Freeway is one of the highest risk roads in the state which is why we have invested in these life-saving road upgrades.
“These crucial infrastructure upgrades will make it safer for Ballarat drivers getting to and from Melbourne, significantly reducing the risk of head-on and run-off-the-road collisions.”